Harsh winter hampers natural gas drillers' efforts to deliver on promises

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 10, 2014 at 6:01 p.m.



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HOUSTON (AP) — The harsh winter has raised fresh concerns about whether the enormous new reserves of natural gas across the U.S. can be reliably delivered.

Natural gas has been in high demand for heating homes and businesses this winter, while the promise of ample supplies and stable prices has the nation has gearing up to use more to run power plants, make chemicals and drive vehicles.

But bitter temperatures in much of the country in the past few months have drained supplies, frozen wells, clogged pipelines and sent prices soaring to record levels in some places. Yet even while prices near East Coast cities were soaring over $100, drillers just a few hours' drive away were selling gas at less than $4 because there was no room on the pipelines.

Analysts say more pipelines need to be built to get the gas from the new places it is being produced, such as Western Pennsylvania, to its new customers.

%@AP Links

APPHOTO NYBZ201: In this Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008, file photo, a new gas pipelines sit in a field near Illiopolis, Ill. America's plan to use more natural gas to run power plants, make chemicals, drive vehicles and heat homes has been called into question by 2014's very tough winter. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman) (27 Feb 2008)

<<APPHOTO NYBZ201 (02/27/08)££

APPHOTO NYBZ202: FILE - In this May 15, 2011 photo, hundreds of drilling pipes are stacked at a rail center in Gardendale, Texas. America's plan to use more natural gas to run power plants, make chemicals, drive vehicles and heat homes has been called into question by 2014's very tough winter. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File) (15 May 2011)

<<APPHOTO NYBZ202 (05/15/11)££

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The Associated Press

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